If mandarin fish die do they release a toxin that kills all of your fish

tanglover13

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Hi I am thinking of getting a mandarin fish but if they die do they release a toxin that kills all your fish
 

Cthulukelele

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No. They have a noxious (not tasty) slime coat to deter being eaten by predators, but other than the ammonia spike associated with the death of any reef creature there shouldn't be anything too concerning
 
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tanglover13

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Oh okay I thought they were like box fish and anemones that if they die they release toxins killing all your fish
 

LPS Bum

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No, not at all. I've had mine for quite a while now. IME, just ensure you have a mature, healthy reef with plenty of live rock. If you do, they'll subsist very well on pods, worms and baby snails.
 

DrkNMighty

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No, not at all. I've had mine for quite a while now. IME, just ensure you have a mature, healthy reef with plenty of live rock. If you do, they'll subsist very well on pods, worms and baby snails.
100% this. Please make sure you have plenty of live rock in a well established tank along with a decent pod population before you introduce the fish to your tank. If you do not the fish will starve very quickly or you will be purchasing pods almost weekly to replenish food supply.
 
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tanglover13

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Do they not eat frozen food because I am going to buy a trained mandarin fish that will eat frozen
 

DrkNMighty

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Captive bred will usually take frozen and pellets. Most wild caught will only eat pods and other small live foods. I would not purchase unless you are absolutely positive it’s captive bred or you are able to visually see it eating frozen foods and pellets. This is not a fish that can be quickly trained to take other foods.
 

LPS Bum

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Do they not eat frozen food because I am going to buy a trained mandarin fish that will eat frozen
I too bought a "trained" Mandarin, and kept mine in the sump for the first 8 weeks I had him. Fed him spirulina brine and frozen cyclops every single day. He ate pretty well.

But when I moved him into my main display, he never touched an ounce of food that I put in the tank. Even the very same foods he was eating in the sump. The sump is low flow and he had it all to himself, which I guess is why he ate there but not in the display.

That's why it's so important to have a lot of healthy, mature live rock in the system. Don't count on yours competing for food with the other fish. Mandarins are very slow, deliberate eaters and really do need those live foods on a daily basis. I've now had mine for over a year, and it's done well this way.
 

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